(Started as a Facebook post, turned into a blog post!)
I took this picture after a 2 hour trip to Walmart to purchase some groceries for my mom, (who is extremely healthy and needs to stay that way). It was a miserable trip! I chose to wear a mask to protect others, especially my mom when I drop off her groceries. I haven’t hugged my mom since March 15, because I want to protect her. According to medical research, (The Center for Disease Control) it is proven in helping to keep others safe, should I be asymptomatic and carrying the virus unknowingly. I haven’t worn a mask every time I’ve been to the store, and my heart tells me I should have. I do not judge anyone else for not wearing a face covering, but I was made fun of by 2 men as I was shopping Saturday. I wasn’t highly offended at the moment; in fact, I was smiling under my face covering because they were grown men walking in Walmart making fun of a lady with a mask on! The more I thought of it throughout the remainder of my day, the more frustrated I became. Many people in the store were not practicing physical distancing. Very few were wearing face coverings. I began to wonder if the spread will ever slow if the communities across our nation choose not to listen to the advice of medical professionals. All these thoughts were flying around in my mind that led to the random outburst in my living room…
I just want to go back to school in August! I want to hug children and my school family! I hate working from home when I should be in classrooms, hallways, and everywhere else on MY school campus!
As my family was staring at me (dogs included), I continued on with a few more “this is ridiculous” related comments before I silenced myself.
I had a temper tantrum, an anger outburst, a moment where I was not self regulating, a moment that I am in no way proud of. Simply put: I lost it. My tantrum was all about me, and what I want. It was also about what other educators and school employee want. It was about what our students and our families want. Heck, it was about what we all NEED! Our society and economy are directly influenced by the closing of our schools, but until it is safe…
I also wear a face covering and physically distance because, as an educator, I want to return to school buildings on time this fall. Face coverings and physical distancing won’t prevent this virus, but they WILL slow the spread. COVID-19 is in our world from now on, but it can be manageable if we act appropriately. Large group gatherings will cause this pandemic to linger on. Many actions we take (or don’t take) will directly impact the timeline of when our kids get to experience school in a safe building once again. Physical distancing & face coverings help slow the spread, so the more people who choose to do these two things, the shorter our timeline can be for welcoming our kids back to school buildings. Makes sense, right?
Equating Safety Measures to Politics: Being Safe is NOT Partisan
The suggestions to physically distance and cover your face are not an infringement of rights. If some spaces ask you to leave for not practicing one or both, that isn’t an infringement on your rights either. Most public places have requirements in place before you can enter their establishment, and we abide by them. Being asked to wear a face covering and stand 6 feet apart are no different.
Consider big issues that infringe upon our rights…
- color of skin
- sexual preference
When compared to those things, wearing something over our faces for a little while so we can do our part seems quite silly. Face coverings shouldn’t require a political stance. I am not passing judgement on others who choose differently, no partisan intention, no hidden agenda, & no pressing of opinions on others who read this post. It isn’t about fear of being sick, running out of toilet paper, or anything else like that. I want kids back in school, and I want to do my part to ensure that happens sooner rather than later. I also want to prevent the spread, should I ever contract COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic.
I am going to be more intentional about wearing a face covering and physical distancing because I haven’t been consistent, and because I really want to serve kids, teachers, and families with less restrictions and mitigation. I miss my school! I want to go back ASAP. 😊 I hate wearing anything on my face! It makes me claustrophobic, and hot, and itchy. What helps me deal with the inconvenience, is to think of our essential workers who have to wear one continuously in order to continue working, so we can continue to shop for essential items, visit restaurants, and go to the doctor. Some of the essential workers have scars and bruising from mask wear. That is all the perspective I need to know that I can handle a Walmart trip. It is simply what my heart needs in order to feel that I’m doing something right during a time where I’ve never felt more helpless.
Be safe, and be well.